Neil Fried came to Washington without a shred of telecom experience. Now, he’s counted as one of the top tech-policy experts in government—so much so that he was considered for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, according to industry analysts.
Fried got his start at the FCC, working on the agency’s legal team during a semester-long apprenticeship away from law school at Washington University in St. Louis. That introduction to the field proved invaluable when Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996—the biggest industry reform since the 1930s. Fried’s fluency in telecom landed him a role at the FCC in implementing the new law.
Fried, now 44, later worked at the law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand before joining the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he currently serves as the majority chief counsel for the Communications and Technology Subcommittee after nearly a decade with the panel.